Some events are so big as to be hard to see properly. They are like holding an object up close against one’s eyes. So it is with the Chief Rabbi’s article in today’s Times.
He writes that –
- “The Jewish community has watched with incredulity as supporters of the Labour leadership have hounded parliamentarians, members and even staff out of the party for challenging anti-Jewish racism.”
- The way in which the leadership has dealt with anti-Jewish racism is incompatible with the British values of which we are so proud — of dignity and respect for all people.”
- “The claims that the party is “doing everything” it reasonably can to tackle anti-Jewish racism and that it has “investigated every single case”, are a mendacious fiction.”
- “It is a failure of culture. It is a failure of leadership. A new poison – sanctioned from the top – has taken root in the Labour Party.”
- “And all of this while in opposition. What should we expect of them in government?”
- “It is not my place to tell any person how they should vote. I regret being in this situation at all…When December 12 arrives, I ask every person to vote with their conscience. Be in no doubt, the very soul of our nation is at stake.”
We struggle to imagine a parallel.
Britain has no Chief Imam, but as though such a person were to advise voters not to back the Conservatives…in the context of Muslims considering emigration were the Party to win the election.
(A Survation poll published in the Jewish News found that “nearly half (47 per cent)” of British Jews polled said they would “seriously consider” emigrating if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister
One does not have to believe all polls’ findings, or that all those quizzed in that case really would weigh up leaving in the event of a Labour victory, to view such a result as alarming.)
How has it come to this?
And now the Archbishop of Canterbury has weighed in (see above). This show of ecclesiastical support is significant. Perhaps we will also hear from the Archbishop of Westminster.
Over now to Yvette Cooper, Hillary Benn, Liz Kendall, Stephen Kinnock, Lucy Powell, Darren Jones, Jess Phillips…and Ed Miliband. Plus all the other 130 Labour politicians who attended the Future Britain Group’s launch.
They will presumably suggest that when push comes to shove the Conservative Party is a more important enemy than anti-semitism. If so, they belong in a lower circle of hell than even Corbyn.
“What will the result of this election say about the moral compass of our country?” the Chief Rabbi asks. Indeed.
And to those who reply that Corbyn simply can’t become Prime Minister, we point to a new poll published by ICM today.
It finds the Conservatives ahead by seven points – a lower recent total than other pollsters, and one that might be on the cusp of denying Boris Johnson a majority.
One does not have to view the poll as accurate – let alone as a forecast – to ask: can we be so sure of the election result with over a campaigning fortnight still to go?